Childhood Obesity Causes and Health Risks
Childhood obesity is a medical condition that brings children under multiple health risks. Childhood obesity is on the rise and more and more children are observed taking help of bariatric surgery to lose weight.
A child having a body mass index higher than that of 95 percent of the children of the same age is considered obese says the best weight loss surgeon in India. Body mass index or BMI is a determiner of the weight status using the height and weight.
Childhood obesity is actually a serious threat to the health of children. It not only affects the physical health but also hampers the emotional well being of the child.
What Leads to Obesity in a Child?
The main cause of obesity is the eating habits and the lack of physical activity but family history, psychological factors, and lifestyle play an important part in contributing to the increasing weight.
Nowadays children indulge in convenience food such as frozen dinners, pasta, junk food such as burger and fries etc. This high-calorie food intake and very low physical activity level make them more prone to gain weight.
Health Risks Associated with Childhood Obesity
An obese child is at a higher risk of developing health problems as compared to a healthy child.
Type 2 diabetes is a health condition in which the glucose in the body is not metabolized properly. This condition can further lead to nerve damage, kidney dysfunction, and eye diseases. An overweight child is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The condition can be controlled by a few diet and lifestyle changes.
Foods that are rich in fat and salt affect the blood pressure level. Obesity leads to an increase in cholesterol level and the blood pressure level. These raised parameters are responsible for increasing the risk of heart diseases which further increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Chronic inflammation of lung’s airway is known as asthma. Though the exact reason is not known but asthma and obesity coexist. Obesity can be a risk factor for asthma in some children.
Obese children are at an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnoea due to an extra weight in the neck area. It is a life-threatening breathing disorder, which leads to brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.
Overweight children may also have interrupted sleep due to excessive snoring.
Obesity in girls can make them reach puberty early. It can also lead to hormonal imbalances causing menstrual irregularities. All this can lead to the development of uterine fibroids at a later age.
An obese child is at higher risk of developing gallstones.
Excessive weight can be a reason for joint stiffness, pain and limited mobility in a child.
As said by the surgeon performing bariatric surgery in Delhi, a change in the lifestyle of such children is actually essential. There are good chances that an obese child would lose weight if they move over to a healthier way of living life. Consult a pediatrician and a diet advice from a good nutritionist can be of an additional help.